Why can I not keep SPS alive?

am3gross

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Details first:

Tank Size: 375 gallons (96x37.5x24.5)
Sump: 75 gallons
Fuge: 40 gallons
Nitrates: 0
Phosphates: .30
PH: 7.98
Akalinity: 9.54
Calcium: 427
Magnesium: 1362
Salinity: 35.5
Temp: 78-79
Lights: 3 Ecotech G5 Pro, had them approximately 2 months, sitting at 90 percent
Flow: 2 MP60 1 MP 40, I have tried turning the flow up and it is currently turned down

Issue:

No matter what SPS I put in there, it dies. Sometimes after a week. In the beginning some would last a month to 6 weeks. I feel there is a pest of some sort in there. I have taken corals out and dipped and nothing but pods have come off the coral, So I am confused there. All corals when placed in the tank start at the very bottom of the tank, to acclimate to the lights. Here lately corals have not made it off the bottom before they die, so they do not even make it to the rock. My next assumption would be maybe the livestock, I have Emerald crabs, 7 tangs, a yellow coris wrasse, xmas wrasse, black leopard wrasse, and a Fairy Wrasse, 3 damsels and 2 cardinal fish. I really dont think the fish would kill stuff as I never see them picking at the coral. The emeralds only come out at night, so they are suspect. Any soft coral I have is safe, I have a pretty good success rate with those.

Does anyone have any ideas for me? If you need more info on anything please let me know, I have tried to list all the normal stuff that people ask for.


Thanks in advance,

-Juice
 
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Operator Wrasse

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How stable are your parameters day to day? Are you having temperature or alkalinity swings? In my experience, that is what leads to Rapid Tissue Necrosis (RTN). How are your nitrates? If your nitrates and phosphates are fluctuating, I believe SPS coral would be more prone to Slow Tissue Necrosis (STN).

If none of these things are occurring, you could have something bacterial in the water. I have read about cases on R2R where very, very experience SPS keepers have lost their entire tank even though all parameters are stable. This led many to believe it was something bacterial in the water.

If you have multiple systems in your home, are you loosing any SPS in those tanks? I have noticed that bacterial outbreaks in the form of cloudy water will occur in both my tanks at the same time, even though they are two floors away from each other.

I do know of a newer current test that tests for bacterial populations. It is sent out like an ICP test. Maybe it could identify a negative bacteria that is causing your issues. I'm not sure if it is currently available to the public.
 
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am3gross

am3gross

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Here are some crappy pictures I just snapped, let me know if you need specifics.
 

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Zoanthids
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am3gross

am3gross

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Parameters are pretty stable, I was having a slight issue with the ALK, but that was a technical error with the Trident, The numbers were not fluctuating as much with the manual test. Same with the PH.

Everything else has been stable, for a long time now.
 
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am3gross

am3gross

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Could it be a salt issue? I use IO and have since the beginning? Could the Silicone be leaching something in the water? It was a brand new built tank. I used 100 percent base rock. Could that be the cause? I am really at a loss here.
 

Operator Wrasse

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What were the Alk fluctuations like and how long did they last?
Was it at the same time you lost your SPS frags?
Are there any SPS frags you are able to keep alive?
How old is your tank?
 

Nick M

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Are you shading/keeping your other corals away from the light? If consistent water parameters aren't the issue...I would try lowering your lights. The G5 is a strong light. I keep mine at 20% and I have a similar sized tank as yours.
 
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am3gross

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What were the Alk fluctuations like and how long did they last?
Was it at the same time you lost your SPS frags?
Are there any SPS frags you are able to keep alive?
How old is your tank?
the fluctuations was with in the trident, manual tests showed no fluctuations. Tank is 7 months old. I have not really been able to keep SPS the entire time. There is only 1 SPS frag that is doing better then the rest, it is actually spreading on the rock.
 
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am3gross

am3gross

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Are you shading/keeping your other corals away from the light? If consistent water parameters aren't the issue...I would try lowering your lights. The G5 is a strong light. I keep mine at 20% and I have a similar sized tank as yours.
I have not shaded at all, Maybe I should turn my lights down?
 
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am3gross

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What are you using to maintain alk / calc / mag?

Are you keeping any LPS and softies and are they thriving?

How are you measuring phosphates and any specific reason why nitrates are 0?
BRS 2 part

LPS are living, I would not say thriving

Phosphates are with a Hannah Checker

And Nitrates because I cant get it higher
 

JWsticks

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BRS 2 part

LPS are living, I would not say thriving

Phosphates are with a Hannah Checker

And Nitrates because I cant get it higher
Mind showing some shots of the LPS during daylight hours?

Keeping nitrates or phosphates at 0 is probably not a good idea unless you're following a system like Zeovit or AF.

When I hit 0, I would probably raise it to 2-5 PPM NO3 and < 0.10 Po4 with any of the various liquid products on the market.
 
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am3gross

am3gross

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Mind showing some shots of the LPS during daylight hours?

Keeping nitrates or phosphates at 0 is probably not a good idea unless you're following a system like Zeovit or AF.

When I hit 0, I would probably raise it to 2-5 PPM NO3 and < 0.10 Po4 with any of the various liquid products on the market.
I will try and get the LPS here in a few hours when it is around noon or so.

I will get the Nitrates up and keep them up and see if that helps
 

JWsticks

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I will try and get the LPS here in a few hours when it is around noon or so.

I will get the Nitrates up and keep them up and see if that helps
Cant tell from the previous pics if you have any coraline growth.

You normally want to see this in a non Zeovit / AF tank.

Also, are you doing water changes?
 
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am3gross

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Cant tell from the previous pics if you have any coraline growth.

You normally want to see this in a non Zeovit / AF tank.

Also, are you doing water changes?
I have just started getting more Coraline growth in the last month, mostly on the rocks, very little on the back glass. Water changes are not very often. Should I be doing more? With all my levels being what I thought with in parameters I did not think I needed to do any.
 

ScottB

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System age? With a dead rock start you need 12-18 months or so for the biome to age.

Double your feedings to get some nitrate. I would also knock down the PO4 to .1 or so with a few careful doses of lanthanum chloride. Elimi-Phos is good. You could also dose some sodium nitrate, but fish poo is better.

3 Radions over that footprint is less than half the number of lights you need for SPS. At the bottom, you are likely averaging about 50 PAR. You need 200 at the bottom minimum.

This is what SPS lighting looks like on my 5 foot tank.
51580.jpg
 

JWsticks

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I have just started getting more Coraline growth in the last month, mostly on the rocks, very little on the back glass. Water changes are not very often. Should I be doing more? With all my levels being what I thought with in parameters I did not think I needed to do any.
Think we're getting close.

As you increase nitrates, your coraline growth will explode. Nitrates and phosphates are food for algae

You need to be changing water or dosing trace elements with ICP tests for SPS tanks. Pick your poison.
 
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